In the end it was Galway’s Michael Donoghue who left the Gaelic Grounds the happier after a strong second half display saw his side emerge three-point victors.
The win confirmed a second-place finish to promoted Wexford and booked a quarter-final spot against Waterford. For Limerick, a trip to face Cork awaits next Sunday in their league quarter-final.
David Burke proved the match winner yesterday for the Tribesmen. The St Thomas’ man was given an inter-changing role between midfield and the full-forward line in the second half and it worked a treat for the men in maroon with a five-point haul for Burke in the second 35 minutes — matching the entire tally of Limerick in a half when the home side were backed by the breeze.
After facing into the elements in the first half, Limerick had done well to lead 1-13 to 0-15 at half-time — six points from play in the opening 11 minutes helping them on their way.
Inspired by Joe Canning, Galway had the game level at 0-8 each by the 23rd minute — a run of six successive points had Donoghue’s side 0-14 to 0-10 clear as half-time approached.
Then came the game’s only goal, two minutes from the half, and it was Cian Lynch who found the net for Limerick. Buoyed by the score, Shane Dowling added late points to ensure an interval lead for Limerick.
But Galway upped the tempo in the second half and Limerick had few answers with just five points, only two from play.
David Burke had the first four points of the half to move Galway into the driving seat.
Limerick held on and were ahead 1-17 to 0-19 with 15 minutes to play.
But John Kiely’s men found only a Dowling free in the final quarter, while Galway subs Shane Maloney (2) and Niall Burke ensured their win with late scores.
S Dowling 0-11 (8f), C Lynch 1-1, G Mulcahy 0-2, D Dempsey, S Hickey, K Hayes and G Hegarty 0-1 each.
J Canning 0-10 (6f, 1lineball), D Burke 0-6, C Mannion and S Maloney 0-2 each, P Flaherty, J Coen, A Harte and N Burke 0-1 each.
N Quaid; R English, R McCarthy, M Casey; D Byrnes, D Hannon, S Hickey; J Ryan, W O’Donoghue; S Dowling, G Hegarty, D Dempsey; C Lynch, K Hayes, G Mulcahy.
B Nash for Mulcahy (53), T Morrissey for O’Donoghue (58), P Ryan for J Ryan (68), C Ryan for Hegarty (69), R Lynch for Dempsey (71).
C Callanan; S Loftus, J Hanbury, A Harte; P Mannion, G McInerney, A Touhy; J Coen, D Burke; J Canning, J Cooney, P Flaherty; C Mannion, J Flynn, P Brehony.
P Killeen for Loftus (h-t), T Monaghan for Flynn (h-t), S Maloney for Flaherty (57), N Burke for D Burke (68)
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